Japan-Italy Friendship Exchange Art Exhibition

-The 150th Anniversary of Japan-Italy Diplomatic Relations-

-Art Education Exchange between Artists of Japan and Italy-

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Overview of the Exhibition

The ‘Japan-Italy Friendship Exchange Art Exhibition’ was held at the ‘Ginza Art Hall’ from Tuesday, March 8, to Sunday, March 13, 2016.  The Exhibition was held to build a long-term friendship between Italy and Japan and to offer a prayer for peace, as they celebrated the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations.


During the exhibition, Dr. Piergiacomo Petrioli (hereunder referred to as Dr. Petrioli), an authority on the history of Renaissance, and Dr. Daniele Sasson (hereunder referred to as Dr. Sasson), Director of Prisma Multimedia Association, who is regarded as the modern day scholar of the Siena School, were invited from the Mecca of the early Italian Renaissance as special art education lecturers for the lecture entitled the “Renaissance from Italy to Japan,” which was held on Saturday, March 12. The lecture attracted many audiences and was a great success. (Please, refer below for the overview of the lecture.)


The Ginza area of Tokyo, where the exhibition venue ‘Ginza Art Hall’ is situated, has its fair share of art galleries, and is regarded as the Mecca of solo exhibitions. In that sense, it would be fair to say that the exhibition was “an exhibition of exchange between the Meccas of art of the two countries”.


The first and second floors of the Hall were used for the exhibition, showing 217 pieces of art works, consisting of Japanese paintings, Western-style paintings, sumi ink paintings, calligraphy and crafts. The second floor of the venue was divided into four sections, each bearing the name of one of the four great cities of Italian Renaissance: Rome, Venice, Florence and Siena, with each booth having been allocated to artist Seijo Yoshihara, painter Sumiko Nagai, craftsperson Haru Hara and calligrapher Kiyoharu Suzuki respectively. Each artist held a mini exhibit of 10 to 15 pieces of their works in the respective booth. Seven pieces by artists from Siena were also exhibited, which fulfilled the objective of art exchange.


Appearance of the exhibition



art work of the first floor exhibition


Appearance of the second floor exhibition(1)


Appearance of the second floor exhibition(2)


The exhibition was a well-balanced one and it had a sort of unity, as the pieces were deliberately not divided into genres. Unlike major exhibitions held at museums such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Art Center, Tokyo, the fact that the pieces were relatively small in size seemed to have shortened the distance between the artworks and the viewers. Furthermore, since the front façade of the first floor of Ginza Art Hall is glass-walled, people could see inside from the street, which was an advantage as it enabled people to enter the venue in a casual manner. Such advantages bore results, registering a high turnout from the very first day, and the number of visitors for the six days exceeded 1,500. The ‘Japan-Italy Friendship Exchange Art Exhibition’ concluded with a great success.


Art Education Lecture

The lecture on ‘Renaissance from Italy to Japan’ was held on March 12 at the Ginza Art Hall. It was held in three installments; starting at 13:30 for approximately 15 minutes each. Dr. Petrioli and Sasson both described how the exhibition was contributing to the friendship between Japan and Italy, and how further friendship can be nurtured by examining each other’s perceptions, views and commonalities by examining the art of both countries.

Dr. Sasson examined how a depth of perception using perspective had developed in modern art, focusing on art from the early Italian Renaissance period to the heyday of the Renaissance period of the 15th century, and Dr. Petrioli introduced paintings from the early Renaissance period of the 15th century Italy, which are probably unknown to many Japanese, and also described how the art of Japan and Italy were connected. 


Lecture of Dr. Petrioli


Lecture of Dr. Sasson